The May Queen (Margaret Macdonald)

To find a queen without a king,
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings…
Ride a white mare in the footsteps of dawn
Tryin’ to find a woman who’s never, never, never been born.
Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams,
Telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.
~Jimmy Page

You’d think I’d understand, at this point, that life just doesn’t really give a damn about my plans. I see other people with orderly lives, with nice, crisp edges that actually materialize in the physical world. I see these people through a fisheye lens, and I am perplexed. How does one one do that? How does one fill one’s life with orderly family, friends and loved ones who defy the laws of physics and the universe and actually wrest order from the chaos? It’s beyond me, clearly.

I’m back in school. Not really in the way I planned, but in school nonetheless. The program I was admitted to has experienced another glitch, and while I still have a spot, I decided while I was waiting to take a class in an area I suck at and to take the GRE again and see if I can up my scores. Yes, folks, advanced college Algebra and I are bedfellows. For my undergrad, I only had to take basic algebra, and now I’m pulling out chunks of hair as I wrestle with this logical beast; I am determined to prop up this area  where I utterly have sucked, academically. Also, if I end up shopping a new grad program, having better scores will only help.

The kids are funny; they seem to have quickly forgotten how much homework I used to do, and have actually complained about this one class and my grinding of teeth while I pull my hair out to learn how to form polynomials with integer coefficients of multiplicity and third degrees. Let me give you and example— consider this is horrifying to me, as I stand back and marvel, in slight disgust:

(x – 3)(x – 4)^2 =
(x – 3)(x – 4)(x – 4) =
(x – 3)(x(x – 4) – 4(x – 4)) =
(x – 3)(x^2 – 4x – 4x+16) =
(x – 3)(x^2 – 8x + 16) =
x(x^2-8x + 16) – 3(x^2 – 8x + 16) =
x^3 – 8^2 +16x – 3x^2 + 24x – 48 =
x^3 – 11x^2 + 40x – 48

That’s one problem. And I got it wrong the first three times I did it. It’s hard. My brain hurts. I cry a lot. For the record, I could paint a museum-quality replica of the painting at the top of this post… but I absolutely weep at the prospect of logically ordering more pairs of problems into things like above. Different talents to magnify? Meh, maybe. But the GRE only measures one of them.

I dodged a bullet with that last chest cold- it only lasted a few days, instead of turning into pneumonia, per normal. So yay for that!

There is more and more chatter around here about the coming Cicada Apocalypse. The most recent (gross) article I read said they’re going “boil up from the ground by the millions” as soon as the topsoil reaches 64 degree 8″ below the surface. Just think about that for a moment…. yeah. *shudder* Apparently, this particular brood (II) is expected to generate hundreds of millions of bugs per square mile. I’m trying to figure out how to get to California for a month. Dear, safe, sweet, bug free beautiful California…

Speaking of California, my parents retired and sold their home, all in a very short, very rapid clip, and have hightailed it out of my childhood town. It’s very odd and slightly disconcerting to know I will never open that particular front door again, peer around the corner in the kitchen, or open Christmas presents in that family room. Grand scheme of things, it’s not really that big a deal- houses change, and our family is about us being together. But still… there was a moment there where I felt genuinely sad.

The good news is, they now live full-time in the Sierras and we’ll be able to go swimming in glacier-fed lakes and traipsing through Yosemite valley when we visit them now- which certainly doesn’t suck. I’m happy for them- genuinely. The next trip to visit Gramma and Grampa should be tons of fun. Ma, how’s next week sound, when the $#@ cicadas start to “boil up” like little zombies from the ground?

The humidity is back. My good-hair days are numbered, and I’m back to the wild and unruly mess of curls, alas. Another example of not having any control in my life. Not even over my hair. Think the universe is trying to tell me something?

I’m having a few friends over for a Mother’s Day brunch. Yeah, I know- I should be at church, but honestly, I just can’t muster the strength it takes to get all three kids to 9 a.m. church, to sit there hearing things that frequently hurt rather than comfort, while trying to keep Bean calm, on a day that’s supposed to be about honoring motherhood. Instead, in honor of this particular mother, we are going to sleep in a bit, have a relaxing morning with no yelling or hurrying or shushing, fix some yummy food, and enjoy eating, chatting and perhaps even playing a game of “In a Pickle” with our friends.

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